IN BRIEF

In the Thanksgiving edition of the Drone Law Boot Camp, we will focus on the much anticipated, newly delivered, recommendations from the task force to the FAA. Happy Thanksgiving! The task force has recommended the following to the FAA:

  • Create a web-based electronic registration system
  • Provide receipt of an immediate electronic certificate of registration and a personal universal registration number
  • Require registration numbers to be marked on all UAS prior to operation

Task Force Summary

On November 21, the UAS task force issued its registration recommendations to the FAA. The task force, represented by various associations as well as Walmart, Google, Best Buy, and Amazon, met over a three-day period in early November. The meetings focused both on safety and designing a registration process that would be easy for UAS owners and operators.  

The three main features of the recommended registration program are as follows: a web-based electronic registration system; the receipt of an immediate electronic certificate of registration and a personal universal registration number; and the marking of the registration number on all UAS prior to operation. The recommended system would be free for someone to register, and the minimum age for an operator would be 13. As an alternative to marking the UAS with the registration number, the registrant could provide the FAA with the aircraft’s serial number, and then no further marking would be necessary. Finally, the task force recommends that a penalty framework be developed for violations, based upon the proportionality of the offense, with more serious violations carrying higher fines. 

Implementation 

What remains now is both the adoption or modification of these recommendations by the FAA, and the timing of the FAA doing so. Obviously, the holiday season is looming, and the task force has suggested creating what appears to be a simple system for registration even if the massive expectations for drone holiday gift giving turn out to be correct.